Study of Stressors in a Cohort of Undergraduate Medical Students: Implications for Student Support
Objective: Increasing stress levels among medical students have been a source of concern for medical educators and administrators. The aim of this study was to investigate the various stressors experienced by undergraduate medical students in Nile University of Nigeria, Abuja. Methods: A descriptive cross-sectional study in which 113 respondents participated. Participants were drawn from the 2nd to 4th year medical students. Data were collected between January and February 2020 using the 20 item version of Medical Student Stressor Questionnaire (MSSQ-20). Results: Demographic data showed that age range of the respondents was 16-17 years with mean age of 19.37 ± 1.9 years, majority of which are females (n=84, 74.3%) while males were in the minority (n=29, 25.7%). 37 (32.7%) of the respondents were second year medical students, while 42 (37.2%) and 34 (30.1%) were third and fourth year medical students respectively. The test instrument showed internal reliability with a Cronbach’s alpha of 0.889. Stressor prevalence showed that academic related activities produced severe stress (3.07 ± 0.80), while the other domains produced moderated stress (1.14 ± 0.10–1.89 ± 0.96) except drive and desire which produced only mild stress (1.00 ± 0.10) in the respondents. Conclusion: Stressors of academic origin produces severe stress. Hence, there is need to improve on academic related factors and curriculum for medical training to ensure proper learning and retention for future practice.